And one more sputter | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, December 14, 2006

And one more sputter

Posted By on Thu, Dec 14, 2006 at 9:30 AM

I can tell you from my overheated phone line that other airport commissioners (Larry Lichty was quoted in the paper) aren't happy about Carl Johnson grabbing for airport business from his commission seat. "It's outrageous," said one. Some on the commission hope the City Board, which appoints commissioners, will take time from blasting Granite Mountain to hell and gone at its next meeting to express some alarm at the Airport Commission doings.

And I was reminded of this further outrage about the event:

More on incoming Mayor Mark Stodola and his need to get the hell out of doing business as legal adviser for the Airport Commission. He was asked about Carl Johnson's involvement in this contract business at yesterday's meeting. He said he didn't see a problem with Johnson being present for the discussion since the concessioner hadn't entered a contract yet and no specific action was being discussed. Bonehead response politically, if legally correct. Lichty was right. Johnson should have left the room as well as recusing from the discussion. The subject arose when Johnson asked a question about qualifying as a disadvantaged minority contractor. (Johnson is a successful physician, by the way.)

Stodola has had Johnson as a legal client (an informal one, Stodola says). (Remember Johnson's rumble at Chenal Country Club with Darrell Walker?) Stodola should have recused from offering an opinion on whether Johnson should recuse. They both should clear the hell out of the commission. Period. Where's the outrage, city board?

UPDATE: I've talked with Stodola about the matter. He says he did say at the meeting that Johnson shouldn't ask questions about the matter and agrees that it's not a good idea for Johnson, as a sitting commissioner, to seek work with the airport. He added that he has long announced his intention for the law firm to end its representation of the airport as soon as a replacement firm has been hired.

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